The 2014 BET Honors aired tonight with unforgettable performances from Mariah Carey, Tamar Braxton, Janelle Monáe and Karen Clarke Sheard. But, without a doubt, the evening’s showstopper was Jennifer Hudson, who showed out during her tribute soul-music legend Aretha Franklin.
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Rocking all-white everything and a pixie cut like a fashion goddess, Hudson gave the Queen of Soul much “RESPECT” with a medley of her biggest hits.
Hosted by Wayne Brady, the other honorees of the night included Motown founder Berry Gordy (Tamar paid homage with a performance of “Upside Down” by Diana Ross), rapper and TV producer Ice Cube (Ludacris presented the award to fellow rapper-turned-actor), visual artist Carrie Mae, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, and late former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Mariah Carey was a force to be reckoned with as well. She debuted her new single “You’re Mine” with an over-the-top — literally, she was on top of a piano — performance in a black cleavage-baring gown. Afterward, the pop diva was greeted with a hug from her daughter Monroe and we collectively said “aww.”
The 2014 BET Honors, recorded earlier this month, took place at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. Since 2008, the event has celebrated the achievements of African Americans in the arts, entertainment, business, athletics, public service and education. Last year’s honorees included Halle Berry, T.D. Jakes, Chaka Khan, Lisa Leslie and Clarence Avant.